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( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-01-31 07:42:24

Canon's 2012 China sales fall more than 30 percent

Canon Inc said on Wednesday its sales in China fell more than 30 percent in the year to December 2012, more than it expected, due to the slowdown and the territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing. Canon forecast a 26.6 percent pick-up in operating profit in 2013 as it cuts costs and boosts revenue due to a weaker yen.

Wen stresses importance of consumer-price issues

Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday stressed that issues regarding consumer prices should never be underestimated, though the country's inflation rate remains moderate. China should better tackle the relationship between economic growth, structural reform and inflation to keep the economy expanding at a reasonable level, Wen said during an inspection tour of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's economic planner. Wen also said the country should improve the quality and efficiency of its economic growth, while fending off and defusing financial risks.

Rice imports no threat to food safety, says ministry

A surge in China's rice imports in 2012 will not affect food safety in the country and there are no grounds to relate the increasing imports to any global food crisis, the Ministry of Commerce said on its website on Wednesday. China's rice imports more than quadrupled from the previous year to 2.32 million metric tons in 2012, the highest level since 2000, the ministry said. But the imports only accounted for about 1.7 percent of China's demand for rice.

CDB allocates more loans to urbanization projects

China Development Bank Corp, the country's major policy bank, is to allocate more than half of its new loans this year to supporting urbanization construction projects. "We will focus on supporting urbanization, and increase lending to projects related to infrastructure construction and social well-being, and enterprises going overseas," Chen Yuan, its chairman, told the bank's annual work conference.

Five more banks to set up fund management firms

Five more commercial banks are likely to be allowed to set up fund management companies under a pilot program approved by the State Council, China's cabinet. According to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the five are Industrial Bank Co Ltd, Bank of Beijing Co Ltd, Bank of Ningbo Co Ltd, Bank of Nanjing Co Ltd and Bank of Shanghai Co Ltd. China has eight fund management companies set up by commercial banks among 73 such companies.

90 cities named as pilots for nation's smart initiative

Ninety cities have been selected as the first pilot sites for China's smart cities project, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said on Wednesday. The smart city project is an initiative to provide fast and effective information services in areas such as traffic management, healthcare and environmental protection by using advanced information technologies. The ministry will evaluate projects in the pilot cities after three to five years.

New Oriental Education posts $26.9m loss in Q2

New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc has posted a second-quarter loss of $26.9 million, compared to a $3.2 million loss in the same period of the previous fiscal year. The New York-listed Chinese company attributed the loss in the period, which ended in November, to increased investment in opening new schools. The company said net revenue increased 30.4 percent year-on-year to $165.9 million from $127.2 million in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Consumer confidence rebounds in 4th quarter

Consumer confidence in China rebounded in the fourth quarter after stabilizing in the previous two quarters, as the economy improved and inflationary pressure remained low, research from Nielsen said on Wednesday. The quarterly consumer confidence index rose to 108 in the fourth quarter - 17 points ahead of the global average, according to the Nielsen survey. The index dropped to 105 in the second quarter, from 110 in the first but stabilized at 106 in the third quarter.

Anheuser-Busch InBev 'to buy Jiangxi beer maker'

Anheuser-Busch InBev will acquire Chinese Nanchang Asia Brewery Co Ltd, a leading brewery in Jiangxi province, the National Business Daily has reported. The Shanghai-based newspaper said AB InBev is making the move to penetrate the Chinese middle and low-end beer markets. AB InBev declined to comment.

ZTE to boost 2013 smartphone shipments

ZTE Corp, China's second-largest maker of phone equipment, said it plans to boost smartphone shipments by 50 percent this year with a focus on high-end phones that run on fourth-generation, long-term evolution, networks. ZTE's smartphone shipments more than doubled to 35 million units last year, from 15.8 million in 2011, Lu Qianhao, global marketing director at ZTE's handset division, said at a briefing in Hong Kong on Wednesday. The company, based in Shenzhen, is counting on increased sales of smartphones in developed markets such as the US, Europe and Japan to help it return to profitability this year after its first estimated annual loss in at least 17 years.

China Daily -Agencies

(China Daily 01/31/2013 page14)

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